Season 1 of Looking, HBO's comedy about a trio of gay friends dealing with romance and careers in San Francisco, wasn't exactly known for the headline-grabbing, gasp-worthy twists and cliffhangers that characterize other shows on the channel like Game Of Thrones and True Detective. Instead, the eight episodes of the program's freshman outing were determinedly focused on characters and relationships over plot. Whether you found that refreshing or frustrating probably determines whether or not you'll be tuning into Looking Season 2. But those who are returning for another go-round with Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Dom (Murray Bartlett), and Agustín (Frankie J. Álvarez) are likely looking forward to resolution surrounding pretty much the show's only cliffhanger: Who will Patrick choose? His hunky British boss Kevin (Russell Tovey)? Or sweet Hispanic barber Richie (Raúl Castillo)?
A quick refresher: In the Season 1 finale, "Looking Glass," Richie told Patrick that he needed space after the debacle that surrounded Patrick's sister's wedding. So when a drunken Kevin called Patrick into the office late at night, he barely hesitated before having sex with his adorable employer on the floor — despite the fact that Kevin is in a committed relationship, of course. But then the episode ended with Patrick finding Richie on his doorstep, where the hairdresser admitted to starting to fall in love with Patrick... only he knows that, sadly, Patrick isn't ready for that.
Season 2's premiere, "Looking For The Promised Land," seems to answer that question. While on a getaway to Dom's boyfriend Lynn's (Scott Bakula) country home, the trio spends the weekend canoeing, doing molly, and attending raves in the forest hosted by bears (not of the ursine variety) dressed as fairies. And when Patrick ends up jonesing for a booty call, who does he choose to have a quickie with against the world's oldest redwood tree? Kevin. It seems as though Patrick has decided to continue his affair with his boss rather than try to work things out with Richie.
So that's it, then? Love triangle resolved? Actually, don't count Richie out just yet. Things may be complicated between him and Patrick, but it's not like it's a walk in the park with Kevin, either. The British video game designer still hasn't broken up with his boyfriend, making his dalliance with Patrick shady at best. And the fact that both Russell Tovey and Raúl Castillo were promoted from recurring players to full-fledged series regulars for Season 2 should be a big fat hint that this decision is far from made.
It's tough to know who to root for in this situation. Patrick and Kevin clearly have a lot in common, and Tovey is undeniably adorable with his cute accent and his jug ears — it's impossible not to root for him! But Castillo brings a surprising sensitivity to Richie, and he's definitely the more challenging — and therefore more interesting — choice for Patrick, so it would make more dramatic sense for the show to pair them together. Either way, since Who will Patrick choose? is the biggest continuous plot thread on the show, you can expect him to take his sweet time deciding.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (2)